April 13th, 2009
12:34 PM ET

Bo knows kibble

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/04/12/art.bosolo0412.wh.jpg caption="Bo, a six-month old Portuguese water dog, was given to the first family by Sen. Ted Kennedy."]

Jack Gray
AC360° Producer/Writer

Well, by now you’ve heard the details:  the newest member of the First Family is a six-month old male Portuguese Water Dog whom the Obama girls have named Bo and Secret Service agents have codenamed “Gassy.”

I’m sure at any moment we’ll receive a statement from Dick Cheney’s dog calling Bo “a socialist whose policy on playing fetch is putting America’s national security at risk.”  And as soon as they hear the word “Portuguese” the president’s critics will be complaining about him outsourcing yet another job overseas.

Anyway, Bo came from a breeder in Texas to whom he was returned by his original family. The official word is that the family’s older dog didn’t like him.  Something about Bo’s penchant for loan sharking, black market cheek implants and halfway houses in Pompano Beach, Florida.  The tabloids are going to love this guy once he discovers the D.C. bar scene.

Bo, of course, succeeds Barney and Miss Beazley, the Bush family’s two Scottish Terriers who, frankly, did not set the bar for First Dogs particularly high.  Miss Beazley is now waiting tables at a Dallas strip club and Barney was last seen knocking over a Radio Shack.

According to The Washington Post – which was supposed to have the exclusive until it was scooped by TMZ (take that Woodward and Bernstein) – Bo was well behaved when he met his new family for the first time.  He neither peed on the carpet nor ran off with Vice President Biden’s hair plugs.

The Post also reports that Bo comes from the same lineage as Senator Ted Kennedy’s Portuguese Water Dogs.  Trust me when I say that that’s good news.  I’ve met two of Senator Kennedy’s dogs, Sunny and Splash.  And I must say that not only are they delightful they also make a mean clam chowder.

And I guess I might as well pre-emptively address the comments and Twitter replies that I know are coming from those of you – Newt Gingrich I’m looking in your direction – who say talking about the First Dog is “stupid.”  No one is suggesting this is the most important story out there.  It certainly is not.  Not even close.  But it is a story that makes people smile.  And, in a time when the headlines are dominated by partisan vitriol, economic anxiety and mass shootings, there is – I firmly believe – nothing wrong with allowing oneself a few minutes to smile.

And, on that note, I will step off my soapbox and take my own dog for a walk.  If she's not too hungover.


Follow Jack Gray on Twitter
Related posts:
In Dog We Trust
#%$@ and the Labradoodle you rode in on

soundoff (116 Responses)
  1. Stacy from NJ

    Day late and dollar short. But if you read week old comments, Jack, your blogs do make me smile. And with all the depressing news out there, don't change. Please don't change! Your columns help me get thru the week without huddling in a corner.

    So thanks.

    April 17, 2009 at 6:41 pm |
  2. Lisa in KS

    I absolutely loved your story! We have had enough "hard" news!! It's time to take things less seriously...Where did they get the name "Bo"? Bo Didley?

    Anyway, keep on reporting on the furry creatures!

    April 15, 2009 at 9:23 pm |
  3. Michelle D . Fonthill. Ont

    Hey Jack

    Great story as only you can say it. Maybe you can wrangle an invite for a play date with Bo and sammy to play fetch . Then you can start a protest group agaianst labaradoodles ha!

    Michelle D.

    April 15, 2009 at 10:37 am |
  4. Betty

    Jack ...
    A wonderful story and idea to blog about BO !! I find the dog just adorable and I also find that Teddy gave BO as a gift to be just so sweet. Seeing the family play with this pup was just a breath of fresh air on the news.

    What I find sad is that people on the other side will even take shots at the first pup to get their nastiness out there !

    No matter, this is a sweet and happy story. I look forward to more stories about BO and maybe even a childrens book as Teddy did about his dog Splash ....

    Great news for American kids and topics they would love to read about.

    April 15, 2009 at 8:35 am |
  5. Cherry B - Ms

    Hi Jack. Thanks a bunch for your First Pup stories, as well as your Twitters and AC360 posts on the love of your life, Sammy. This is such great stuff to break the awful flow of bad news we've had the last few months. BTW, thanks for all your great work on AC360. You guys have quite a crew.

    April 15, 2009 at 4:55 am |
  6. Nattada, Houston TX

    Dear Jack, you are too funny, 😀 and Bo is too cute.

    Poor Barney and Miss Beazley. Hope they don't have to work too hard lol.

    I had to reread it again to make sure that I get enough smile before I go to bed tonight. Thank you Jack for all goodie you put together for us. Everybody can use a good laugh indeed. Sweet dreams, Jack.

    April 15, 2009 at 2:14 am |
  7. Gloria, Brooklyn, NY

    Thank you, Jack for the leg up on the Secret Service agents' code name for Bo. Now, they are going to need a code name for the code name. It will take a fire hydrant for this one. Bo is certainly going to be a character in Washington. I can see it now : "Bo Goes To Obey School!" "Bo Finds Love Bone!" Bo In The Dog House!" I can hardly keep still.

    April 15, 2009 at 12:45 am |
  8. Christie, SC

    Fantastic post, Jack! I'm still smiling. 🙂

    Cindy from GA – My goodness, Girl. Sounds like you could use a smile.

    "Hi, my name is BO-BAMA" – THIS made my day. It's perfect. LOL

    April 15, 2009 at 12:43 am |
  9. Kae


    As a longtime dog owner, I thought your story was great. Ignore all the naysayers. Bo is an extremely cute dog and makes you smile when you see him. I'm happy for the Obama girls. Bo will be a great dog for them. And for the country --lighten up. What's wrong with people enjoying a great dog story -and smile once in a while. We need to smile more often. Thanks to Bo for our smile of the day.

    April 15, 2009 at 12:09 am |
  10. Inge Henry

    Hi Jack,

    I love your story about BO. We all can use a good laugh these days.
    Cindy-GA enjoy life.

    April 14, 2009 at 11:37 pm |
  11. Dorothy

    Thanks for the laughs. Ted K's dogs making a 'mean clam chowder' too funny!

    April 14, 2009 at 11:26 pm |
  12. starr formerly known as vincent

    Jack, only you could write such an article. It (as you usually do) craced me up.

    Your right, it's not the biggest issue we are dealing with, but so badly needed to have a smile sometimes....

    Write some more on the dog, keep us posted, we would love to hear from you again about Bo, the dog.

    April 14, 2009 at 11:03 pm |
  13. district112

    You are so right about how this type of story puts a smile on people's faces.

    The best part of watching the coverage of the Obamas with the dog, watching Bo take off and dragging Michelle, Malia, or the president along with him. LOL

    April 14, 2009 at 11:02 pm |
  14. mertz

    hey jack!

    i follow your twitter, and i suggest others to do the same.

    i love bo, mostly because i'm a dog lover, and i dislike cats, but aside from that i am 100% with you on the coverage of this job. it may seem assinine to others, but we really don't need to go there, lol newt the great dane gingrich, because as a news viewer i would rather hear about this dog, than about the republicans latest anticts to derail obama. gah.

    April 14, 2009 at 10:49 pm |
  15. Petra

    Jack, great coverage on BO, too funny! He's probably plotting his next act of tyranny now! ha.

    April 14, 2009 at 8:47 pm |
  16. JayQ

    Haven't laughed so hard in years! Good one and thank you Jack!

    April 14, 2009 at 3:25 am |
1 2 3

Post a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.